The Twins Are Stuck In Their Comfort Zone
Unfortunately, it appears that each of the signings came with an implicit assurance that the player would receive a chance in the big leagues, regardless of what they did to earn it. I can't think of any other way to explain the way things played out.
Bartlett won a spot on the 25-man roster out of spring training despite a horrible camp, then looked predictably lost before taking himself out of the picture by retiring less than three weeks into the season.
Kubel also made the team in spite of a poor showing in March, and was allowed to slump for almost two months before finally being let go.
Guerrier got the call in early May even though he had put up a 7.20 ERA over four outings in Triple-A as a 35-year-old.
None of these guys did anything to actually merit a spot on a major-league roster, and none of them were even good last year, but they all got their opportunities, taking away playing time from younger and more pertinent players. Why?
As far as I can tell, it's based mainly on familiarity and comfort. The whole fiasco seems to epitomize what's wrong with the way this organization has been operating.
The Twins are in their fourth straight year of being one of the worst teams in baseball, but you'd hardly know it with the way they continue to stay the course and stringently adhere to many of the same principles.
When they needed an extra man in the front office, they brought back former assistant Wayne Krivsky. When they shook up the field staff, they moved some people around and brought up a couple coaches from Triple-A, also adding Paul Molitor, but infused no fresh blood from outside the organization.
In general, I don't think that being loyal to your people and promoting from within are bad things, but there have got to be limits and exceptions. The Twins have been stuck in a losing rut for almost half a decade now, yet they haven't brought one prominent outside voice into the mix during that entire span.
In some respects, this team is evolving and embracing the changing landscape of the game, both economically and philosophically. But the Twins have got to stop making so many decisions based on familiarity and past accomplishments. Going 0-for-3 on Bartlett, Kubel and Guerrier demonstrates either a worrisome lack of evaluative ability, or a very flawed process when it comes to deciding who should receive innings and at-bats on a rebuilding club.
Either way, it makes it tougher to have confidence in the plan that is being executed.
[/HR]Wednesday's victory over Cleveland means that on Thursday you can get a half-price large or extra-large pizza at PapaJohns.com by using the code 'TWINSWIN'.